By: Kim Vincent
Probit analysis is a type of regression used to analyze binomial response variables.
It transforms the sigmoid dose-response curve to a straight line that can then be analyzed by regression either through least squares or maximum likelihood.
Probit analysis can be conducted by one of three techniques:
Using tables to estimate the probits and fitting the relationship by eye,
Hand calculating the probits, regression coefficient, and confidence intervals, or
Having a stastitical package such as SPSS do it all for you.
The idea of probit analysis was originally published in
by Chester Ittner Bliss in 1934.He worked as an entomologist for the Connecticut agricultural experiment station and was primarily concerned with finding an effective pesticide to control insects that fed on grape leaves(Greenberg 1980). By plotting the response of the insects to various concentrations of pesticides,he could visually see that each pesticide affected the insects at different concentrations, i.e. onewas more effective than the other. However, he didn’t have a statistically sound method tocompare this difference. The most logical approach would be to fit a regression of the responseversus the concentration, or dose and compare between the different pesticides. Yet, therelationship of response to dose was sigmoid in nature and at the time regression was only usedon linear data. Therefore, Bliss developed the idea of transforming the sigmoid dose-responsecurve to a straight line. In 1952, a professor of statistics at the University of Edinburgh by thename of David Finney took Bliss’ idea and wrote a book called
(Finney 1952).Today, probit analysis is still the preferred statistical method in understanding dose-responserelationships.
Probit Analysis is a specialized regression model of binomial response variables.Remember that regression is a method of fitting a line to your data to compare the relationship of the response variable or dependent variable (Y) to the independent variable (X).
Y = a + b X + e
a = y-intercept
b = the slope of the line
e = error termAlso remember that a binomial response variable refers to a response variable with only twooutcomes.